Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Marine Environment spokesperson
The sinking of the Tassal-contracted vessel Dawn Trader, in Okehampton Bay last night, is evidence of the salmon company’s rush to get fish in the water at the expense of its environmental commitments.
Minister Rockliff should halt the fish stocking at the site until the Environmental Protection Agency has undertaken a comprehensive assessment of the causes and impacts of the sinking.
The EPA needs to determine how a boat supposedly fit for commercial purposes, and carrying hundreds of litres of diesel fuel, has sunk while moored in the bay. It needs to determine any impact on the beautiful clear waters and marine life of the Mercury Passage, and potentially on the marine reserve around North Maria Island.
Tassal has attempted to deflect responsibility for any damage, which is patently absurd given the 11-metre craft was contracted to clean Tassal’s nets in the bay.
Coming on the heels of Tassal’s refusal to use seal-proof nets and its flagrant breaches of multiple EPA rulings over its Macquarie Harbour site, this sinking further highlights Tassal’s choice to take the cheapest, fastest option at all opportunities, regardless of the costs to the environment or the community.
The Minister needs to act and protect the marine environment from what appears to be a cowboy operation in beautiful Mercury Passage.